Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, BOUCHALLEEN BAWN, by JOHN KEEGAN



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BOUCHALLEEN BAWN, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Oh, pray have you heard of my bouchalleen bawn?
Last Line: When again I shall meet my own bouchalleen bawn!
Subject(s): Fairies; Elves


OH, pray have you heard of my Bouchalleen bawn?
Can you tell me at all of my Bouchalleen bawn;
Have you come by the 'rath,' on the hill of Knockawn:
Or what can you tell of my Bouchalleen bawn?

The pulse of my heart was my Bouchalleen bawn;
The light of my eyes was my Bouchalleen bawn.
From Dinan's red wave to the tower of Kilvawn,
You'd not meet the like of my Bouchalleen bawn!

The first time I saw my own Bouchalleen bawn,
'Twas a Midsummer eve on the fair-green of bawn.
He danced at the 'Baal-fire,' as light as a fawn,
And away went my heart with my Bouchalleen bawn.

I loved him as dear as I love my own life;
And he vowed on his knees he would make me his wife.
I looked in his eyes, flashing bright as the dawn,
And drank love from the lips of my Bouchalleen bawn.

But, Christ save the hearers! his angel forsook him --
My curse on the queen of the fairies -- she took him --
Last All-hallow's eve as he came by Knockawn,
She saw -- loved, and 'struck' my poor Bouchalleen bawn.

Like the primrose when April her last sigh has breathed,
My Bouchalleen drooped and his young beauty faded;
He died -- and his white limbs were stretched in Kilvawn,
And I wept by the grave of my Bouchalleen bawn.

I said to myself, sure it cannot be harm,
To go to the wise man, and ask for a charm;
'Twill cost but a crown, and my heart's blood I'd pawn,
To purchase from bondage my Bouchalleen bawn.

I went to the priest, and he spoke about heaven;
And said that my failings would not be forgiven,
If ever I'd cross the grey fairy-man's bawn;
Or try his weird spells for my Bouchalleen bawn.

I'll take his advice, though God knows my heart's breaking;
I start in my sleep, and I weep when I'm waking.
Oh, I long for the blush of eternity's dawn,
When again I shall meet my own Bouchalleen bawn!





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